Paws Pet Therapy

Recently, students at Bethany were introduced to Paws Pet Therapy, a not-for-profit charitable organisation that trains volunteers and their dogs to provide specialised pet therapy. Our volunteers Wendi and Doug brought their beautiful labrador Roxy along for a visit with a small group of students- and what a joyful visit it was! The magic and benefits of pet therapy are numerous and we witnessed first hand the comforting effect pets can have on humans.

Some students were already dog lovers and knew exactly how to handle Roxy, while others were a little nervous at first, but became more confident and less fearful.

As part of the pet therapy programme, Roxy regularly visits nursing homes and hospitals but Bethany was her first school visit. The interaction between Roxy and girls was very special. Wendi and Doug talked about the benefits of pet-assisted therapy, including how the pets can offer a comforting presence and can bring a decrease in feelings of loneliness and isolation. Additionally, caring for pets encourages nurturance and responsibility, thus increasing self-esteem and feelings of self-worth. Most notably, pets live “in the moment” and encourage us to enjoy the present.

Roxy will be back, and we just can’t wait til next time!

Rachael Colreavy